BALTIMORE -- Dan Duquette had a busy day, adding and subtracting players. His prize was adding outfielder Gerardo Parra froutfielder Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers. The price was Triple-A pitcher Zach Davies.
Just before the deadline, the Orioles sent Tommy Hunter to the Chicago Cubs for minor league outfielder Junior Lake. The Orioles needed flexibility in the bullpen and for now have added Mike Wright from Norfolk and Mychal Givens from Bowie.
To make room for Parra, the Orioles designated first baseman Chris Parmelee for assignment.
"We were able to make a couple of trades to help our team and try to get ready to get back to the playoffs. We're real happy and excited that we were able to pick up Parra. He's one of the top hitters in the National League this year and he fits the profile of an every day position player for us,” Duquette said.
“Two-time Gold Glover, he can hit against left- and right-handed pitching and he's very good at getting on base. He's got some really good numbers at the top of the order. He's a good set-up hitter and a good defender to play in the field. That should keep our defense strong, help our pitching, and his presence at the top of the lineup should be real additive. That's an ingredient that we've been missing and we're glad to have him join us."
The trade was completed Friday morning.
"The price is steep this time of year because there's a lot of teams that are chasing a couple of good players,” Duquette said.
“I saw during our research on Parra, he's the leading hitter in the big leagues since May 1 in terms of average. He's been hitting the ball really well. He's desirable to a lot of teams, so the cost is significant. We gave up a good young pitching prospect in Zach Davies.”
The Orioles begin play on Friday night two games behind Minnesota for the second wild card spot.
“It's a credit to our farm system that we have the players available to trade. And again, I think when you're close and you have a chance to get into the playoffs, you've got to do what you can around these deadlines to strengthen your team and keep going toward the goal,” Duquette said.
The Orioles needed to add pitchers who had options in Wright and Givens.
“We have some younger pitchers who are going to come up and join our team that have options, but also have a lot of talent. Mike Wright's been here. He's done a nice job. Mychal Givens has been here. He's done a really good job in Double-A,” Duquette said.
“Invariably in our conversations with other teams, after Kevin Gausman the two pitchers they wanted next was Mike Wright and Mychal Givens. So other teams have identified as ready for the big leagues. So now, we are going to give them an opportunity.”
Duquette said he had a hard time letting Norris go.
“That was a tough decision. Bud had a really good year last year, really good,” Duquette said. “This year he hasn’t been able to reestablish that. We tried him in the starting role. We transitioned him to relief, and he just didn’t have a lot of success. We’re going to try and find a spot for him with another club. That was a disappointment, I think. I know it’s a personal disappointment for me. I was disappointed we couldn’t help him perform more or he couldn’t perform better this season because he had a great year last season.”
Duquette said there wasn’t any interest in Norris from other teams.
“We explored that with every club we talked with. He’s not throwing the ball real well right now,” Duquette said. “He’s a veteran pitcher. He’s healthy. That’s what’s puzzling. I’m disappointed we couldn’t find a solution to that.”
Duquette said that he would continue to look for pitching in August, which will be more difficult because players have to pass through waivers.
“We’re always looking to add pitching,” Duquette said. “There’ll be a little bit of a lull in the transfer of players from team-to-team, but there will be some other opportunities. We’ll be looking to add to our team.”
MORE ORIOLES: Orioles deal Hunter for minor league outfielder